AJ Hoggard has been a key piece for Michigan State in each of the past two seasons. After developing into a starter during the 2022-23 season, Hoggard has his sights set on the next level.

On Wednesday, the point guard announced his plans to test the NBA Draft waters. However, he will maintain his college eligibility in the process, keeping the door open for a return to the Spartans.

“Playing in the NBA is the dream for any kid who picks up a basketball,” wrote Hoggard. “I’ve had that dream since I started playing. After discussing it with my family and with Coach Izzo, I am entering my name for the 2023 NBA Draft and will maintain my college eligibility.”


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After coming off the bench the majority of his first two seasons for Tom Izzo, Hoggard started 33 games for the Spartans this past season. He finished third on the team with 12.9 points per game and led the team with 5.9 assists. Hoggard also averaged 3.7 rebounds and shot 80% from the free-throw line.

In terms of growth, Hoggard’s biggest step forward came from 3-point range while shooting 33% last season. He was a career 20% shooter from deep heading into last season.

Impact of AJ Hoggard’s decision

As of now, it’s hard to project how Hoggard’s decision could impact next season with his ability to return to Michigan State. He joins teammate Jaden Akins who has also announced plans to test the NBA while maintaining his college eligibility.

In the end, the decisions of Hoggard and Akins could boil down to the potential for Michigan State to have a crowded backcourt next season. Already, Tyson Walker has announced plans to return while the Spartans are also adding elite guard Jeremy Fears via the 2023 recruiting class.

Malik Hall — a veteran on the wing — is also returning to the program. Keeping Hoggard and Akins would be a big boost for the program and would give Izzo one of the deepest and most experienced teams in America.